View Full Version : green bean bites

February 19th, 2007, 09:32 AM
my green beans end up with what looks like tiny bites as if something was nibbling on them. it gets progressively worse are the season goes on. Whatever is doing this doesn't eat the bean, just leave scars where it was bitten. Does anybody have any idea what insect is doing this?

February 20th, 2007, 07:56 AM
It sounds like Mexican bean beetle,the adults are tan, round-backed about 1/4 inch long with black spots.Do not confuse them with the red beneficial lady bug.If left uncontrolled, they will skeletonize leaves and chew holes in the stems and beans.The best method is to hand pick,inspect plants daily, look for holes in the leaves. Turn the leaf over and if bright yellow egg clusters or yellowish-orange larvae are present, fold the leaf over and crush them.Best time to do this is early morning when they are sluggish , if they are kept under control, your crop will not suffer, a few half eaten leaves will be your only damage. Do not use pesticides! If you have a bucket with soapy water you can flick the adults into the water,This is what I'm going to do .Good luck!

February 21st, 2007, 05:44 PM
Thanks. I do spray with rotenone / pyrithium as a desperation when it gets bad in later summer. I have noticed when I pick and the bites are particularily bad (usually after its been wet for a while and I can't spray) I see "clouds" of very tiny insects swarming - almost like fleas. Does this sound like bean beatles? Thnaks for your help.

February 22nd, 2007, 05:40 AM
No thats not bean beetles, could it be Whiteflies,they are a little larger then a pin head-with tiny snow white wings.Walking through a severely infested garden you will see specks of white swirling around.Whiteflies suck the sap from plants and usually gather on the undersides of leaves or near soft, succulent growth. Control- natural predators- lacewings,ladybugs, and praying mantids.You can use yellow sticky traps near target plants to capture adults. Spray with neem, insecticidal soap, or neem oil soap for imediate control,use garlic spray to repel whiteflies from plants.Hope this helps.

February 23rd, 2007, 05:34 PM
Thanks - I appreciate the information

March 4th, 2007, 07:08 AM
I'm thinking you have European bean beetles and cuke beetles as the Mexican bean beetles generally do not do a lot of damage to the bean pods, they mostly eat the leaves and kill the plants. the Euro bean beetles look like cuke beetles only they are beige or red. and perfer the bean pods over leaves and can decimate a 50' row of beans in under 2 hours.

Neem based insecticides work well to control these critters. So does row cover if put on early (like when you plant the seed)

You could also have anthracnose-do the bites have an oozy pink center? If so you got a fungus. Not much one can do about anthracnose that I know of other than roation.

On the mexican bean beetles look at the undersides of all leaves for these bright yellow spiky soft bodied things. those are the larva and are what are doin the most damage. Squish 'em dead

March 5th, 2007, 12:41 PM
Thank you OhioOrganic
I don't think I have anthracnose- the bites do not have an oozy pink center. Cuke beatles sound likely as I know I have them in my garden. Do you know of a local - ie non internet source - for a Neem based insecticides? The on line sources charge an arm and a leg for shipping. I am about 1/2 hour north of Columbus. I see you are slightly south west of Dayton and we probably have similar stores. Thanks for your information.

March 6th, 2007, 06:02 AM
I have heard you can sometimes find neem products at the major box stores like lowe's. But I would suggest Ohio Earth Foods in Hartsville. GardensAlive also carries it but they are pricey

strong eagle
March 6th, 2007, 07:20 AM
Walmart carries a Neemseed insecticide. I get several bottles of it each season. It's terrific for a variety of insects, plus a great fungicide for roses and tomatoes. Strong